This morning, Verizon released its quarterly earnings report for the last three months of 2017. Analysts expected the nation's largest carrier to report 685,000 net new postpaid subscribers. Big Red blew right past that forecast by adding 1.17 million net new postpaid customers for the period that covered October through December. This nearly doubled last year's number, and was the most net new postpaid customers added by Verizon since the first quarter of 2016. The number of postpaid net new smartphone additions was 647,000, up 42% year-over-year.
For all of 2017, net new prepaid additions came in at 2.1 million. That included 1.8 million smartphones, the highest total for Verizon since 2015. Last year's total also takes into account 31,000 net new tablets, and 1.3 million other connected devices.
While churn was up from the third quarter number to 1%, it was down from last year's 1.1% reading. As we told you yesterday, some analysts expect Verizon's churn to increasedue to new BYOD promotions being offered by rival carriers. Postpaid phone churn came in at .77%, under .90% for the 11th consecutive quarter.
Revenue for Verizon Wireless rose 1.7% year-over-year in Q4 to $23.8 billion. Operating income for the period was $7.1 billion. 80% of the wireless operator's phone accounts are on an unsubsidized pricing plan as of year end 2017. A year earlier, that figure was at 67%.
"Verizon finished 2017 with great momentum, led by some of the best customer growth and loyalty results Verizon Wireless has delivered in recent years. In 2018 we look to drive long-term shareholder value by deploying next-generation network services, leveraging global platforms such as Oath, and using our strategic Humanability approach to turn innovative ideas into realities."-Lowell McAdam, chairman & CEO, Verizon
Overall, it was a strong quarter for Verizon Wireless. The carrier ran several sales featuring the Google Pixel 2 and the Google Pixel 2 XL, and today starts new BOGO dealsfor the Pixel 2, Moto Z2 Force, Samsung Galaxy S8 and the LG V30.